Celluloid is Not a Signifier Any More


  • Darko Štrajn




change, digitalization, legibility, film, mass culture, movement, post-media


Nowadays art does not necessarily need to be militant or socially involved to be political since the categories of truth and reality are destroyed through the mediatic dissipation of notions of subjectivity and objectivity. Since the first obvious indications of the inception of the times of the “end of representation” – as Deleuze pointed out half a century ago – we have to deal with a widespread awareness about the persevering change of art and of reflections about art in the social framework of institutional and technological contexts. The analysis of interactions, starting with the invention of film/cinema, artistic practice and theory, including aesthetics, highlights the importance of the notions, categories and agencies of movement. The emergence of the so-called post-media epoch signals a new decisive change following the one, which was revealed as the overwhelming onset of mass culture. As the theoretical indecision about the features of an ongoing new change seems to be still dominant, the practice of art of any conceivable variety reflects basically the same indecision. The fact that ‘film’ is still the notion, which by and large means moving images, while digitalization made the material (celluloid) film obsolete, is an elementary metaphor of the process of the vanishing of signifiers, related to the notion of art. However, in a more complex term, the questions about the correlation between form and content are re-emerging in novel configurations as well as the epistemological and ontological problems of aesthetics, concerning the designations of objects of analysis.


Article received: May 17, 2019; Article accepted: July 6, 2019; Published online: October 15, 2019; Original scholarly paper

Author Biography

Darko Štrajn

Educational Research Institute and AMEU – ISH, Ljubljana

Darko Štrajn graduated in philosophy and sociology at the Faculty of Arts – University in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and he finished his doctorate on Fichte’s philosophy in 1984. Later on, he was the director of the Educational Research Institute (1986–1993) in Ljubljana, where he is currently still working in educational research. He lectures on film theory and the epistemology of humanities at the Graduate School for Studies in Humanities (AMEU – ISH) in Ljubljana. His research comprises topics like aesthetics, film and media studies, politics, education and social change. He authored five books and many book chapters as well as hundreds of other publications. His most recent book (2017) was published in English under the title From Walter Benjamin to the End of Cinema.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i20.322 DOI: https://doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i20.322




How to Cite

Štrajn, D. (2019). Celluloid is Not a Signifier Any More. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (20), 43–50. https://doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i20.322



Main Topic: Contemporary Aesthetics of Media and Post-Media Art Practices